What is the Belize Diaspora Program?
Belize’s Diaspora Program is a program implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The program seeks to engage the Belizean Diaspora by documenting skills, resources and the return interest and plans of those willing to support the development of Belize.
The overall objective of the program is to contribute to the economic development of Belize through the support and engagement of the Belizean diaspora. The information obtained through this program will act as an important indicator as to what skills and resources exist in the Diaspora and the interest of the Diaspora, which will serve as important factors guiding Government policy to engage the Diaspora.
The history of increased migration from Belize to other parts of the world started as early as the 1960’s due to the unstable economic conditions which prevailed during that period. Over the years, the migrant Belizean population has increased, reducing much needed skills to support development within many sectors. As migration trends increase so has the desire of the diaspora to maintain a sense of identity, a connection to their place of origin and to contribute to the development of their home country.
Through a mapping exercise, the program sets out to obtain information on the number of persons, organizations and associations that constitute the diaspora; which regions/countries they can be found and most importantly, what skills they may possess and are willing to share for the development of Belize.
Who is eligible to participate in this Program?
– All Belizeans living abroad
– Children of Belizean parentage living abroad
The Belize Diaspora Program will be undertaking several activities that will widen the scope for reaching and engaging more members of the diaspora so as to open channels for greater discourse between the diaspora, the Government of Belize and its citizens.
The Program staff will conduct an overall mapping of the Belizean diaspora to analyse available skills and resources that can be employed by public and private organizations and institutions in Belize.
The mapping is carried out through an online survey of the diaspora. Face to face interviews and conversations between project staff and members of the Belizean diaspora, introduction workshops as well as local calendar of activities will also be methods for engaging the diaspora.
Reaching the Diaspora through Social Networks & Web tools
The Program will use the effectiveness of social networking that allows easy accessibility for participation in the mapping exercise and the progress made. Belizeans around the world will be able to access links to participate in the survey through some of the more popular networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Make your participation count
The information shared will be dealt with the strictest confidentiality and will only be used for the purpose intended. The data derived from the survey will be used by the program’s representatives to compile data on who constitutes the Belizean diaspora, where they can be found (state and country), what skills, resources and experiences they have and would like to share, where their interest lies and what expectations they may have in sharing their skills in Belize.
Staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will meet and interact with representatives of diaspora groups and Belizeans Missions Overseas at introduction workshops with select cities, where there is a large Belizean population. These groups will also be encouraged to participate in the online survey, promote and share information on the importance of registering and the benefit of development in Belize to all Belizeans.
The diaspora will benefit from discussions, presentations and a forum for answering questions and giving feedback on the project’s objectives. Our frequently asked questions link on the website and feedback will provide additional information.
Using the Platforms of Talented Belizeans
Belizeans within the fashion and music industries who showcase their work internationally will be encouraged to support the drive for greater participation of the mapping exercises. The program representatives will attend these activities to interact with, encourage registration and to promote participation towards development.